West Yorkshire Metro Mayor – Three Policy Priorities for 2021

This briefing sets out three policy priorities for the new metro mayor after the election to address the biggest issues facing the West Yorkshire economy.

Briefing published on 29 March 2021 by Tom Sells

The election of a mayor will provide two main things for West Yorkshire. The first is extra powers and budgets to help support future growth of the economy. And the second is the role of advocate for the area in dealings with both national government and potential international investors. A number of other city regions, most notably Greater Manchester, have benefited from this for a number of years now. May’s election provides the opportunity for West Yorkshire to catch up.

Policy priority 1:

Invest in adult education and skills 

  • Target support for adult education in areas where it is most needed.
  • Use influence to shine a spotlight on underperformance in education

Policy priority 2:

Implement congestion charges and bus franchising

  • Introduce a congestion charge and workplace parking levies in Leeds city centre as well as clean air zones elsewhere.
  • Introduce London-style bus franchising across the combined authority.
  • Funnel funds raised back into the wider Metro system.

Policy priority 3:

Support city centres in West Yorkshire

  • Encourage people back into Leeds city centre when it is safe to do so
  • Allow growth in Leeds through creating more high-quality office space
  • Kickstart the city centres in the rest of the combined authority area by replacing industrial and retail space with high-quality office space.

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